Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trump card: Rick Perry and abortion

Earlier today, a poll (pdf) was released showing Texas Gov. Rick Perry getting sliced and diced in a potential gubernatorial primary against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

But if Rick Perry's got one shot in this thing, it may come from the smoking gun of abortion.

Exit polls from 2008 show Texas Republicans overwhelmingly pro-life (69%-29%), and if Perry's to make up his 25 point deficit, pro-life causes may be the yellow brick road back to the governor's mansion. Hutchison is pro-choice.

Today, Perry used an anti-abortion rally in Austin to burnish his pro-life credentials.

"When President Obama overturned the Mexico City policy his first week in office, it sent a signal — it sent a signal that the unborn don't matter as much as the opinion of his pro-abortion backers.... Think about it. Abortion is now a U.S. foreign export. I'd rather export Texas principles, like our informed consent law, that helps expectant mothers better understand the risks and the consequences of abortion."

It's worth noting that, while pro-choice, Hutchison is far from a Planned Parenthood volunteer. The National Right To Life Committee gave her a 75% rating in 2006, and Hutchison voted to ban partial birth abortions, notify parents of minors who get out of state abortions, and bar HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions.

Kay Bailey, however, may be vulnerable on stem cell research. In 2004, she signed a letter urging President Bush to expand stem cell research beyond the lines derived before 2001.

And today, Perry used that letter as fodder for his attack:

"I am deeply disturbed that any experiment that uses the tissue of unborn children as raw material, particularly obtained from a life ended prematurely, is going to have a terrible impact upon this state," he said.

As long as I am governor, of the great state of Texas, I will oppose our taxpayers' dollars from being spent on research that ends human life."

Hutchison's spokeswoman immediately fired back, noting that the governor supported research on embryos that would have otherwise gone to waste, while opposing creating embryos for research.

It'll be a long ride up a steep hill for Rick Perry. But sometimes life can get you there.


Post a Comment